On the Bay for Memorial Day

Good morning everyone. We are anchored this morning in Cradle Cove and a cradle it has been all night. We are of course on our first trip of the year, a shakedown cruise if you will. I for one am delighted to be off the dock and out on the bay. The crew is ecstatic to see their hard work in action. We have received more than a few comments on how lovely the boat looks.

We departed Saturday morning after breakfast. Mary’s cream cheese coffee cake along with eggs and sausage and a fresh fruit salad made it easy to raise the sails. We did not have much wind on Saturday but finally an afternoon breeze picked up and away we went at a leisurely 8 knots, Mary Day hardly tugging at her sheets. We enjoyed a lobster picnic on the beach.
A sunset sail brought us to anchor in Buck’s Harbor. Rain fell Saturday night and a few sprinkles came early Sunday but in true Maine fashion the sun came out in the afternoon and we enjoy a good beat up the bay at 9+ knots. Seal pups are everywhere and even porpoise are in the bay.
White winged scoter, guillemots, osprey, and eider ducks are all in residence.
We even enjoyed an impromptu wedding for Josh and Karen. It wasn’t hard to find a brides maid and best man for these wonderful people. The wedding outfits reflect the festive nature of the ceremony.

Congratulations to the very happy couple (although this ceremony is only good for the duration of the voyage so don’t worry Mom and Dad. You will get your chance!).
With high pressure building in the stars last night were brilliant. Mary broke out her accordion and we played tunes in the main cabin by the warmth of the fireplace. What a way to start the summer.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

A Lot of Work and a Little Play


Good morning everyone. Just so you don’t think that all we do is work around here Jim Dugan caught the light just right to prove that the crew gets a few minutes off every couple of days. We launched our 1930s vintage Herreshoff livery tender yesterday and the crew took a wonderful sail on the dying afternoon breeze. The schooner sails in 10 days. But who’s counting?

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Mama Duck


Good morning everyone and Happy Mother’s Day to all you out there. Well it has been a busy week in our windjammer world. We launched the schooner from the railway on Friday morning after five long days and evenings dodging the rain. Last year we turned the boat around in 23 hours and this year was just the opposite. The crew were absolutely inspirational in their energy and devotion to ‚Äúgittin‚Äô ‚Äòer done.‚Äù I for one am very glad to be associated with such a fine group of individuals. Yesterday we sanded bulkwarks in the morning and rigged in the afternoon, running out the jibboom and raising a topmast. They have earned a well-deserved day off.
As we were leaving the schooner a mother duck was sitting in the seaweed right next to our dock. Sawyer, not one to miss a great photographic opportunity, took several pictures up close and personal. It took me a few minutes but soon we realized that this was the same mother that had been swimming by with a raft of chicks in tow. (We have a “don’t count” policy to avoid future heartbreak.) And there she was sitting on her chicks warming and protecting them from the world. There was a wonderful story on NPR yesterday about how animals in the wild can be such wonderful mothers. It was just a little uncanny that we should meet this hen after hearing that story.
Curious Sawyer crept right up to her with camera in hand and she would fluff her tail feathers for all they were worth but she wouldn’t budge off those chicks. Yeah for Moms everywhere who do the same for their children everyday and for far longer than a hen takes care of her chicks. In a few months time the chicks will feed and fend for themselves and join the “herd” that patrols Camden Harbor entertaining summer visitors. We all have to do something for a living and I can think of nothing finer than giving the joy of living to everyone we meet. Witness the absolute delight of a young child wading knee deep at the beach throwing bread crusts to the ducks. Kind of gives you a new take on things, doesn’t it? Mothers… raising their chicks…who go on to make world a better place… everyday, everywhere, all the world over. Thanks Mom!
Have a great Mothers Day. Be well Do good.

Anyone read Maine author Robert McCloskey’s “Make Way for Ducklings?” lately? A tale of courage and perseverance and how wonderful it can be for everyone when people give the rest of nature a helping hand.

I’ve been working on the Railway


Good morning everyone. Once again I write this at night because I will be off to the ship yard early in the morning. We hauled out on the railway yesterday morning at 0730 and began the long process of cleaning the bottom of the hull. The bottom was remarkably clean but we pressure washed and scrubbed the bottom just the same. These windjammers get pampered like nothing the old timers would ever have dreamed of. Matt and Jason, a couple of friends from the fire department are helping and have scraped most of the entire bottom of the schooner. They are heroes to the crew.
Today the Coast Guard came by to inspect the hull planking and the internal framing. A hull exam is a semi-annual process for wooden vessels in this area. Another periodic inspection involves pulling a random selection of the spikes fasteners that hold the planks to the frames. This process happens every six years here in northern New England and Mary Day was due this year. Mary Day passed with flying colors. The inspector spent nearly 4 hours going over every square inch of the schooner, inside and out. I am grateful for his diligence and expertise.

The crew worked late into last evening and all day today, even in the pouring rain this afternoon. The forecast for the next few days looks absolutely miserable with rain or showers everyday from here ’til Monday. Oh well… we will do what we can and have plenty to do while we wait for the weather to break.
Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

Heading for the Yard


Good morning everyone. Well as you can see by the time stamp on this one it is actually Sunday evening. I am writing this now because I will be getting up in 8 hours to take Mary Day to the shipyard for her annual haul out and will not have time to do it in the morning. The crew has been absolutely amazing working through the weekend to get as much painting done as possible while the sun is shining. You just can’t imagine how much energy they are putting out to make this schooner shine.

The cover came off this week and Mary Day felt her first rays of direct sunshine and, yes, a little bit of rain as well, in many months under the cover. We had a chance to do a little rigging on Tuesday. It felt good to get aloft where all good sailors are most at home. On Wednesday we got under way and dropped the centerboard out of the schooner at the local boatyard. She looks to be in great shape so will need just a coat of paint and some new sacrificial zinc anodes. The diagonal line visible in the picture from the lower right corner up to the upper left defines the extent to which the board is lowered while sailing. The lifting rod is not seen here because it is threaded in to a coupling (not visible here) that is at the upper left hand corner. The rod is off getting the thread renewed. I have seen those threads get tired and hope never to see that again. Having the centerboard out gives us a chance to paint the inside of the trunk. Thanks goodness for really skinny deckhands!

In this last picture First mate Drew and deckhand Ali are towing the anchor from the seawall to the schooner dock. Well, wish us luck this week and pray for good weather. The forecasters are not so optimistic but we will pull it off as we always do and Mary Day will come out in better shape than when she arrived. The Coast Guard will be stopping by to perform a hull inspection and we will be proud to show them one fine schooner.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good. Stop by to help scrape the bottom if you happen to be in town.